Beaches and berries practically put Bridgman on the map.
In the mid-1800s, George C. Bridgman started a farm, growing berries, fruit trees and grapes.
At the time, the market for fruit was entirely local. That changed when Bridgman granted a railroad right-of-way through his land in exchange for the establishment of a train depot. The nursery business took off when a local grower placed an ad in an East Coast farm journal and started taking orders for strawberry and cane plants. The mail order nursery business became a million-dollar industry in the community, and wholesale nurseries continue to thrive in the area today.
The area’s Weko Beach became a popular destination in the 1920s with a waterfront pavilion featuring dinner, dancing and music. The city later purchased and renovated the pavilion, now known as the Beach House.
Weko Beach continues to be a popular attraction along the shores of Lake Michigan as well as the Warren Dunes State Park. Visitors can walk along nearly three miles of beach between Weko Beach and Warren Dunes State Park.
Students attend Bridgman Elementary, F.C. Reed Middle School and Bridgman High School.